Saturday, December 13, 2008

Shooting stars around the full moon

When it was very late in the evening, the Fuso Szulc was left to step under the night sky that had something extraordinary to show.

It had the biggest and brightest full moon in 15 years.

The reason for this is simple:

Each month the Moon makes a full orbit around the Earth in a slightly oval-shaped path and last night it was swinging by the Earth at its closest distance, or perigee.
It passed by 356,613km (221,595 miles) away, which is about 28,000km ( 17,000 miles ) closer than average.

The unusual feature of last night was that the perigee also coincided with a full moon, which made it appear 14 per cent bigger and some 30 per cent brighter than most full moons this year .

The next closest encounter with a full moon this large will not be until November 14, 2016.
So the opportunity was gladly taken and as a bonus another phenomenon could be seen.

The annual Geminid meteor shower: one of the year’s best displays of shooting stars.
Up to 100 meteors an hour can fly across the sky.
Some meteors were seen that were burning red with a white tail.

Lots of opportunity to make wishes.
But there was only one.
A happy birthday for the only brother today.


To learn more about last night's event, click on:


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